Caring For An Online Community

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It takes a village to raise a child, but what does it take to run an online community?  Well, there’s the money, the site, and the keyboard, but in less tangible terms, a human touch is also recommended (if not required).

That’s the message of Matthew Haughey, who recently discussed the issue on his blog fortuitous.  Yet Haughey warns admin types about getting too human – thou shalt not become irrational, conceited, or vindictive, in other words.  Try bouncing your ideas off other moderators as a sort of “sanity check” before unleashing any wrath.

If you’re lacking moderators, find some alternative way to get the opinions of others and spread the workload.  In terms of keeping things clean, Haughey recommends “a simple user flagging system . . . .  It’s a basic mechanism that gives the community a policing outlet, but beyond the simple act of empowering users to help you moderate a large site, if you build the right toolset you can save yourself loads of time and stress moderating content.”

Community members can also help with site design issues – after all, they’re likely to have something invested in the place, as well.  Haughey writes, “When I have to make a tough decision, I mention it in a new thread and get the members’ reactions and often tailor the final result based on their feedback.”

Haughey’s post has some other helpful tips, but those are the highlights.  For more views on how to run an online community, you might turn to Steve Yelvington – by reading his article on the matter, you actually get to hear both his opinion and that of OSTG’s Robin Miller.

Caring For An Online Community
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